Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nazi vandalism at French military cemetery

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Photo from the BBC: "Visitors survey the gravestones of 52 French Muslim soldiers which have been defaced with Nazi insignia at Notre Dame de Lorette cemetery near Arras."

The full story is here. "The military cemetery... is one of the country's biggest and is on the site of some of the war's early battles." President Jacques Chirac, as well as the two leading presidential candidates Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal (the first round of the election is on Sunday), have spoken out forcefully against this despicable act of vandalism. Chirac called it "an unspeakable act that scars the conscience".

The only positive is that sometimes it takes this sort of act to remind us that Nazism and fascist bigotry more broadly are still alive and well -- and not just in France, of course -- and must be dealt with.

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  • This is why freedom of speech is so important (though in this case it's just vandalism). Hate-based groups gain strength in the shadows. Their message is undermined when it's tolerated.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 PM  

  • Good point, Dylan.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 1:34 AM  

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